DIY Electric Car Conversions Displayed At The 2011 Canberra International Electric Vehicle Festival
The 2011 Canberra International Electric Car Festival had a number of DIY Electric Car Conversions. Although, there were some commercial Electric Car Conversions, like the Blade Electron and some might argue that the Tesla Roadster is an Electric Car Conversion, the majority of Electric Car Conversions at the 2011 Canberra International Electric Vehicle Festival were DIY Electric Cars. What is even more interesting is that some of these cars did not look like old cars, but rather relatively recent models. Even more interesting was that the DIY Electric Cars had a professional look to them. Some of them looked like they came out a factory of an established car manufacturer.
The list of DIY Electric Car Conversions that were present were:
- Volkswagen Polo
- Volkswagen Beetle (rear engined version)
- Daewoo Lanos
- Daihatsu Charade
- Toyota HiLux
- Ford Courier
- GMC Van
Why is this list of DIY Electric Car Conversions significant?
This list of DIY Electric Car Conversions is significant because these cars do not fit the stereotype image of an Electric Car. You know – where the vehicle is the size of a shopping trolley or slightly bigger. The donor vehicles chosen were reflective of the cars commonly driven by people in Australia and also in many parts of the world. This means that people could easily relate to these cars. With the huge crowds asking questions and noting details of the various Electric Car Conversions, there was a sense that people felt that an Electric Car Conversion was in their reach.
In fact, the Electric Volkswagen Beetle that was present at the Electric Vehicle Festival has also been on display at the Summernats. Now, the Summernats is predominately associated with modified cars that sport big muscle engines.
The Electric Ford Courier and Electric Toyota Hilux utes / pick up trucks have been invited to exhibit at The Canberra Ute Car + Truck Muster (Festival). This event is a display of nicely done up utes (pick up trucks), cars and trucks. The standard of vehicles on exhibition is of a high standard and this event is a high profile event which gets exhibitors and visitors from all over Australia and possibly overseas. This invitation came about after these vehicles were displayed at the Electric Vehicle Festival.
The other significant thing about these DIY Electric Car Conversions was that they were driven to the event, with the exception of the GMC Van, but that was mainly due to the fact that the van’s Electric Vehicle Conversion was not finalized. It’s batteries were missing and I believe this van just had just been resprayed just before the event.
What Was Common Amongst All These Electric Car Conversions?
The common things about all the above Electric Car Conversions were:
- Each donor car was accessible to the public which could be found in the local paper (with perhaps the exception of the GMC which is a bit rarer in Australia, but common in America);
- Each conversion mainly used off the shelf components with some custom made parts (eg. adapter plate);
- Each conversion did not have backing from an established automotive manufacturer;
- All owners were keen to discuss their Electric Cars and answer questions about them.
- Most were road registered and most were driven to the event.
- The ones at the event used DC Electric Motors.
- Each owner was associated with Canberra EV. Being associated with people who know about Electric Cars helps with information sharing and also with getting help if you get stuck whilst doing an Electric Car Conversion.
What Was Unique About Each Electric Car Conversion?
The unique things about each Electric Car Conversion listed above were:
- Each car listed above was different to each other so no 2 cars were the same. This enabled the public to see what could be done and to see how different cars could be converted. Some cars were rear wheel drive, others were front wheel drive.
- Some were 2 seaters, others were 4 seaters.
- Each owner had a different skill level when it came to Electric Car Conversions. Some did the majority of the work themselves, others outsourced bits and others bought an already converted car and upgraded the batteries.
My Opinion About The DIY Electric Car Conversions At The Electric Vehicle Festival
My opinion about the DIY Electric Car Conversions at the Electric Vehicle Festival is that it appears that demand for Electric Cars outstrips demand that people from all walks of life are doing or getting Electric Car Conversions. It appears to be cheaper to do an Electric Car Conversion than to buy a commercially available Electric Car. As more people do Electric Car Conversions, there will be more information about specific donor cars. Currently, one of the best places to look for examples of Electric Cars is EV Album and if you would like more information about any of the above examples, please contact us with your question and I will approach the owners to get an answer for you.
With DIY Electric Car Conversions being present at the 2011 Canberra International Electric Car Festival, it is clear by the number of people who turned up that there is a demand for Electric Cars and there are a number of people interested in doing their own Electric Car Conversion. The examples demonstrated at the festival proves that Electric Cars are practical and that these cars are real. Also, note these electric cars were driven to the event and were road registered with the exception of the GMC. As there is a collective experience in doing these conversions, it will become easier to do your own Electric Car Conversion and with some cars (like the rear engined VW Beetle), there are Electric Conversion Kits available, which will make conversions cheaper, easier and quicker in the future.
This is Crazy Al Signing out.
P.S. I will be putting picture and videos about these DIY Electric Car Conversions in the future, so please book mark this page and tell your friends about it and please come back to this page. I will also be putting up links to case studies of the various Electric Car Conversions in the next few weeks. Thanks.